How to Decrease Anxiety During a Pandemic

Here are some helpful tips and trick to decrease anxiety as well as ways to achieve a healthy mental balance.


  • Breathe in for 5, hold for 1, breathe out for 10
  • The slow exhale tricks the brain into relaxing the body

Progressive Relaxation

  • Tense a group of muscles as you breathe in, relax them as you breathe out
  • Do in an order (top to bottom, bottom to top, your choice)

Five Senses Activity (Grounding)

This is a great way to stop a panic attack

  • Notice 5 things you can SEE
  • Notice 5 things you can FEEL
  • Notice 5 things you can HEAR
  • Notice 5 things you can SMELL
  • Notice 5 things you can TASTE

Do Something Productive

  • Activity is a great distraction—start a new hobby, engage in meaningful and creative activities
  • Do an activity which gives you satisfaction
  • Examples: Clean something, organize items for donation, learn a craft, read, walk the dog, make a list of people to check in with

Keep on a Schedule

  • A schedule helps us feel more in control
  • Put things on that are:
    • Solitary (reading, crafting, baking, self-care, learning. journaling)
    • Social (calling friends and family, checking in on social media)
    • Necessary (cleaning, cooking, laundry)
    • Physical (exercise—walking is GREAT exercise)
  • Do not stay on news or social media sites for long periods of time
  • Avoid too much input without a rest for your system
  • Take breaks or switch activities
  • Spend some time away from your phone
  • Eat at regular meal times
  • Keep a consistent bed time and sleep schedule

Control What is Yours to Control

  • Remind yourself of what you are doing to help contain the spread
    • I am staying home, I am washing my hands and keeping an appropriate distance
    • I am not putting myself or those around me in danger
    • I am trusting the experts to do their jobs. EVERYONE wants this to be controlled and eradicated soon.
  • I do not have to spend time dwelling on what is not mine to control

Helpful Mental Health Apps


  • Calm: Meditation and Sleep Stories (free)
  • Headspace: Meditation (free)
  • Stop, Breathe & Think (free)
  • Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds (free)
  • Insight Timer: Meditation for Sleep and Anxiety (free)
  • Buddhify: Mindful Meditation ($4.99)
  • Sleep & Noise Sounds (free)
  • Take a Break! Meditations for Stress Relief (free)
  • CBT iCoach (insomnia)
  • The Mindfulness App (free)
  • Breathe: 1 Minute Meditation (free)


  • Down Dog: Great Yoga Anywhere (free)


  • My Secret Diary (free)
  • Daylio-Journal, Diary, Moods (free)

Positive Thinking/Stress Relief:

  • Virtual Hope Box (free)
  • Breathe2Relax (free)
  • MoodTools: Depression Aid (free)
  • MoodKit: Mood Improvement Tools ($4.99)


  • Alaska Careline (877)266-4357
  • Suicide Hotline (800)273-8255
  • Domestic Violence (800) 799-7233
  • Crisis Textline—text CONNECT to 741741
  • National Substance Abuse Helpline (800)662-HELP (4357)
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) (800) 950-NAMI (6264)